Space heaters are compact heating devices that are becoming increasingly popular among RVers in providing warmth during cold trips. Sometimes, your RV’s built-in furnace or heat pump may not be enough to keep you warm, especially in cold weather.

Space heaters are portable devices that can heat a small or medium-sized area using electricity, propane, wood, or other fuels. They come in different types, sizes, and designs and have various features and functions to suit your needs. Do space heaters and RVs belong together? Definitely yes!

However, using a space heater in your RV also has challenges and risks, such as fire hazards, power consumption, noise, and odors. Therefore, before you decide to use a space heater in your RV, you need to consider some factors and options that will help you choose the best one for your RV.

This article will discuss everything you need to know about Can You Run a Space Heater in an RV?

Which Space Heater Can You Use in a Camper or RV?

Choosing the right space heater for your camper or RV requires careful consideration of several factors that impact its effectiveness and safety. Let’s delve into these essential aspects:

A space heater inside an RV

Factors Affecting Choice of Space Heater:

The size of your RV plays a vital role in determining the ideal space heater. Compact heaters like the Lasko Ceramic Tower Heater are excellent for smaller RVs, while larger RVs may require more powerful models. Consider the power source available in your RV.

Electric heaters are suitable for RVs with reliable electricity, while propane and wood heaters are better options for off-grid adventures. Safety features are crucial when choosing a space heater for RVs. Look for models with tip-over switches and overheat protection to prevent accidents.

Look for heaters with high energy efficiency to conserve power and extend battery life during extended camping trips. Noise levels can impact your overall comfort. Select a space heater with low noise output for a peaceful camping experience.

Types of Space Heaters for RVs:

There are different types of space heaters that you can use in your RV, depending on your preferences and needs. Here are some of the most common types of space heaters.

§ Electric Heaters

Electric heaters are space heaters that run on electricity, either from your RV’s shore power, or generator battery. They use various heating elements, such as ceramic, metal, or quartz, to convert electricity into heat. They are usually easy to use, clean, and maintain, and have various features and functions that make them convenient and safe. Some examples of electric heaters that you can use in your RV are:

§  Ceramic space heaters:

These are electric heaters that use ceramic plates or discs as heating elements. They are usually compact and lightweight, with fans evenly distributing the heat. They are also energy-efficient and safe, with thermostats and overheat protection. However, they may need to be more durable and robust and make some noise.

§  Tower heaters:

These electric heaters have a tall and slim design that saves space. They usually have oscillating fans that circulate the heat around the room. They also have digital and remote controls that make them easy to use. However, they may need to be more stable or sturdy, and they may tip over easily.

§  Built-in faux fireplace insert heaters:

These electric heaters look like fireplaces and can be installed in your RV’s wall or cabinet. They usually have realistic flames and logs that create a cozy ambiance. They also have thermostats and timers that make them efficient and safe. However, they may be expensive and difficult to install and need more heat for large areas.

§ Portable fireplace-style heaters:

These electric heaters look like fireplaces but can be moved around easily. They usually have wheels or handles that make them portable. They also have realistic flames and logs that create a cozy ambiance. However, they may be bulky and heavy and consume a lot of power.

§  Infrared heaters:

These electric heaters use infrared rays to heat objects rather than air. They are usually silent and efficient, as they do not lose heat through convection. They also have thermostats and overheat protection that makes them safe. However, they may be expensive and fragile and not heat the whole room evenly.

§  Oil-filled heaters:

These are electric heaters that use oil as a heat reservoir. They are usually silent and efficient, as they do not have any fans or blowers. They also have thermostats and overheat protection that makes them safe. However, they may be slow to heat up and cool down and heavy and bulky.

§  Micathermic panel heater:

These are electric heaters that use a combination of convection and radiant heat. They are usually thin and lightweight, with adjustable thermostats and timers that make them convenient. They also have tip-over switch and overheat protection that makes them safe. However, they may be expensive and fragile and need to be more powerful and influential.

The right space heater for your camper or RV is essential for a comfortable and pleasant camping experience. When deciding, consider factors like size, power source, safety features, efficiency, and noise level.

One instance that stands out is when Taylor Dzaman left his Mr. Heater Buddy running overnight in an RV.

How Space Heaters May Cause Fires in RVs

As much as space heaters provide warmth and comfort in RVs, they can pose fire hazards if not used correctly. Understanding the common causes and risks of using space heaters will help you take the necessary precautions to ensure a safe camping experience.

Common Causes of Fire Hazards:

Space heaters are left running for extended periods. If something is positioned too near to flammable items, it may lead to a fire. Overheat, leading to potential fires. Faulty wiring, damaged cords, or overloading electrical circuits can result in electrical fires. Unstable placement of space heaters can cause them to tip over, triggering a fire hazard. Placing space heaters near curtains, bedding, or other flammable items can increase the risk of fire accidents. Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines for your specific space heater model.

Avoid leaving the space heater unattended, especially when sleeping or leaving the RV. Turn it off when not in use. Maintain a safe distance of at least three feet around the space heater, ensuring no flammable materials are nearby. Ensure children and pets are supervised around space heaters to prevent accidental tipping or contact with hot surfaces.

What Kind of Electrical Outlets Are in Your RV?

Understanding your RV’s electrical outlets and systems is crucial when using space heaters to ensure safe and efficient operation. Let’s dive into the details of various types of electrical outlets and how to determine the power capacity and compatibility of your RV and space heater.

Describing Different Types of Electrical Outlets and Systems in RVs

RVs come equipped with different electrical outlets and systems to meet the varying power demands of different appliances and devices. Some of the common types are:

1.     30 Amp Outlet:

This type of outlet provides 30 amps of electrical power and is commonly found in smaller RVs and campers. It is sufficient for running essential appliances and some low-power space heaters.

2.     50 Amp Outlet:

Larger RVs and motorhomes typically have a 50 amp outlet, providing more power for running multiple high-wattage appliances simultaneously, including powerful space heaters.

3.     Shore Power:

Shore power refers to the electricity provided when you connect your RV to a standard electrical pedestal at a campground. Depending on your RV’s setup, it can be 30 or 50 amps.

4.     Generator Power:

Many RVs have a built-in generator that can supply power when you are not connected to shore power. The generator’s power output varies, with some models capable of providing sufficient power for space heaters.

How to Determine the Power Capacity and Compatibility of Your RV and Space Heater?

Before using a space heater in your RV, it’s essential to determine whether your RV’s electrical system can handle the heater’s power requirements. Follow these steps to ensure compatibility:

1.     Check Your RV’s Electrical Panel:

Locate your RV’s electrical panel, where you can find the circuit breakers and fuses. Determine the power capacity of your RV by checking the amperage ratings for the main circuit breaker.

2.     Find the Power Requirements of Your Space Heater:

Refer to your space heater’s user manual or product specifications to identify its power requirements, usually measured in watts or amps.

3.     Ensure the Outlet Match:

Check if your RV’s electrical outlet matches the plug of your space heater. You may need an adapter if they are not compatible.

4.     Avoid Overloading:

Avoid plugging multiple high-power appliances into the same circuit, as it can lead to overloading and tripping of circuit breakers.

5.     Use Separate Circuits:

If your RV has multiple electrical circuits, distribute the load of appliances, including the space heater, across different circuits to prevent overloading.

6.     Avoid Daisy-Chaining:

To avoid overheating and short-circuiting, it is recommended that you do not connect your space heater using daisy-chained extension cords or power strips.

How to Avoid Electrical Issues in Your RV?

To ensure the safety of your RV’s electrical system and avoid potential damage, follow these guidelines and warnings:

1.     Know Your RV’s Limits:

Understand your RV’s electrical limitations and refrain from using high-power appliances that exceed their capacity.

2.     Perform Regular Inspections:

Inspect your RV’s electrical cords, plugs, and outlets for any signs of damage or wear. Replace any faulty components promptly.

3.     Unplug Appliances:

An excellent way to save energy is to unplug appliances when they are not in use. Remember to unplug any appliances or devices to reduce the risk of overloading and conserve power when you are finished using them.

4.     Turn Off Space Heater When Leaving:

Always turn off your space heater before leaving the RV or going to bed to prevent potential accidents.

5.     Use High-Quality Extension Cords:

If you need to use an extension cord, ensure it is of high quality and rated for the power requirements of your space heater.

6.     Monitor Electrical Draw:

Be mindful of the total electrical draw in your RV when using the space heater and other appliances simultaneously.

By following these guidelines and ensuring your space heater’s compatibility with your RV’s electrical system, you can enjoy the comfort of warmth during your camping trips without compromising your safety or damaging your RV’s electrical components. Stay informed and vigilant to maximize your space heater’s capabilities while keeping your RV’s electrical system in top condition.

What Is the Best Space Heater for Camping Off-Grid?

Off-grid camping is where RVers venture away from traditional campgrounds and facilities, opting for more remote and secluded locations. In off-grid camping, RVers disconnect from external utilities such as electricity, water, and sewer, relying on self-sustainability and natural resources. : Depending on weather conditions, traditional space heaters may not provide sufficient warmth in frigid environments.

A dependable model that’ll keep you warm is the Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Portable Propane Heater. Off-grid locations need access to traditional electrical outlets, making it challenging to power electric space heaters directly.

Solutions and Alternatives to Using Space Heaters When Camping Off Grid

To tackle the difficulties and restrictions associated with utilizing…traditional space heaters during off-grid camping, consider these alternative solutions:

Install solar panels on your RV to harness renewable energy from the sun. Solar panels can charge your RV’s batteries during the day, providing power for low-wattage electric space heaters at night.  Invest in high-capacity batteries and inverters to store and convert solar energy into usable power for space heaters and other appliances.

Select portable propane heaters with low fuel consumption. These heaters can be used both indoors and outdoors and offer efficient heating without relying on electricity. Embrace layering with warm clothing, blankets, and sleeping bags to reduce reliance on continuous heating. By adopting these solutions and alternatives, you can effectively overcome the challenges of off-grid camping and create a cozy and sustainable heating solution for your RV. Remember to be mindful of your surroundings and practice responsibly.

Great Space Heater For RV Features to Look For

Choosing the right space heater for your RV involves considering features that enhance convenience, comfort, and safety during your camping adventures. Let’s explore some essential features to look for in a space heater and how they benefit RVers.

List of Convenient, Comfortable, and Safe Features

1.     Thermostat:

A built-in thermostat allows you to set a desired temperature for your RV. Once the space heater reaches the set temperature, it automatically cycles on and off to maintain consistent warmth.

2.     Timer:

A timer feature lets you schedule when the space heater turns on or off. This feature is handy for warming up your RV before you wake up or return from outdoor activities.

3.     Remote Control:

A remote control allows you to adjust the space heater’s settings from a distance, providing convenience and avoiding the need to get up to make changes.

4.     Tip-Over Switch:

The tip-over switch is a safety feature that automatically shuts off the space heater if it accidentally tips over. It prevents potential accidents and reduces fire hazards.

5.     Overheat Protection:

Overheat protection is a critical safety feature that shuts off the space heater if it reaches unsafe temperatures, preventing fires and electrical damage.

Explanation of How Each Feature Works and Its Importance for RVers


The thermostat continuously measures the ambient temperature in your RV. When you set the desired temperature, the space heater’s internal thermostat compares it to the actual room temperature. If the room temperature drops below the set level, the heater turns on and continues heating until the desired temperature is reached. Once it’s achieved, the heater turns off to conserve energy.

Importance for RVers:

The thermostat ensures that your RV remains comfortable without constant manual adjustments, providing a pleasant camping experience without temperature fluctuations.


The timer feature allows you to program specific times for the space heater to turn on or off. You can set it to operate for a specific duration or schedule warming before specific activities, such as waking up in the morning or returning to your RV after outdoor adventures.

Importance for RVers:

The timer feature helps conserve energy and avoids unnecessary heating when not inside the RV, making it an energy-efficient option.

Remote Control:

The remote control communicates wirelessly with the space heater, enabling you to change settings, adjust the temperature, or turn the heater on or off from a distance within the RV.

Importance for RVers:

The convenience of remote control means you can adjust the heater’s settings without leaving the comfort of your bed or seating area, enhancing overall ease of use.

Tip-Over Switch:

The tip-over switch is a safety mechanism that automatically shuts off the space heater if it accidentally tips over, reducing the risk of fire and injuries.

Importance for RVers:

In a compact space like an RV, the risk of accidental tipping is higher, making the tip-over switch a crucial safety feature to prevent potential hazards.

Overheat Protection:

The overheat protection feature constantly monitors the internal temperature of the space heater. When the heater reaches a specific temperature, it will shut off automatically, detecting excessively high temperatures that could lead to overheating.

Importance for RVers:

Overheat protection ensures that the space heater operates safely, reducing the risk of fire accidents and protecting your RV and belongings from damage.

Examples of Space Heaters with These Features and How They Enhance Your RV Experience

1.     Dyson Hot + Cool Jet Focus:

This space heater features a digital thermostat, timer, and remote control. The thermostat allows precise temperature control, while the timer ensures energy-efficient heating. The remote control provides convenient adjustments anywhere inside your RV, making it a versatile and user-friendly choice.

2.     Lasko Ceramic Tower Heater:

This device is equipped with a tip-over switch and overheat protection. Lasko Ceramic Tower Heater ensures safety while providing comfort. Its electronic touch controls and programmable thermostat offer convenience, and the included remote control allows easy adjustments from a distance.

3.     Mr. Heater Portable Buddy:

This portable propane heater features an automatic shut-off if it detects low oxygen levels or tips over. It provides reliable heating with no electrical requirements, making it suitable for off-grid camping. The propane tank compatibility ensures extended use without constant refills.

By selecting a space heater with these convenient, comfortable, and safe features, you can enhance your RV experience, enjoying warmth and coziness during your camping journeys without compromising safety or energy efficiency. Remember to prioritize safety and choose a space heater that aligns with your needs and preferences for a comfortable and enjoyable RV adventure.


In conclusion, several factors should be carefully considered when running a space heater in your RV. Our top priority is to provide a camping experience that is both safe and comfortable. We have explored the benefits of space heaters, providing warmth and coziness during chilly nights, making RV trips more enjoyable.

However, awareness of the potential fire hazards and electrical challenges associated with their usage is crucial. The best space heater for your RV depends on your unique needs and camping style. Consider the size of your RV, power supply, safety features, and environmental impact when choosing. We encourage you to research various space heater models, examining their features and compatibility with your RV’s electrical system.

Embrace the joy of camping with a reliable and efficient space heater that enhances your comfort without compromising your safety. Stay warm and cozy during your RV adventures, cherishing the beauty of nature while making lasting memories with loved ones. Happy camping!